Three car enthusiasts became the new Cannonball Run record holders last month – with a top speed of 193 mph and an average of 103 mph for more than a day. Drivers Arne Toman and Doug Tabbutt, and spotter Berkeley Chadwick, made the 2,800-mile journey from New York to Los Angeles in 27 hours and 25 minutes.
As first reported by "Road and Track," the trio shaved more than an hour off the old record, which was set in 2013. They stopped for a total of 22 minutes.
In the 1981 movie "Cannonball Run," Burt Reynolds and Dom Deluise crossed the country in an ambulance. Toman, Tabbutt and Chadwick, however, rode in a souped-up Mercedes. The car was modified over the course of two years, specifically with setting the record in mind, "CBS This Morning: Saturday" co-host Dana Jacobson reports.
"We've got a couple radar detectors, a CB radio, a police scanner, we used gyro-stabilized binoculars, and something new for this trip that's never been done is we used a thermal scope on the roof of the car so we're able to see anything warm on the side of the road waiting out before us," Toman said.
They were also aided by a network of spotters, driving ahead of them and reporting road conditions as well as the placement of police speed traps.
"We knew we had a shot pretty much the whole time, and thankfully nothing bad happened," Toman said. "There was no altercations with the police or anything to slow us down."
But the feat is drawing criticism from safety experts. The Governors Highway Safety Association said "speeding is widely deemed culturally acceptable by the motoring public. We need to change that narrative and make speeding as socially unacceptable as drunk driving."
Toman maintains the team never put any other drivers at risk. "There was no close calls at all. We don't pass people at a high rate of speed, simply because it's dangerous, and if we were to do that, to drive recklessly, they're just going to call the police, and then we're just going to have police waiting for us."